Freelance: a concept

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by sumpter250, Nov 27, 2007.

  1. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    I see the varied opinions above as equally valid responses that reflect the spectrum of goals in freelancing. Creating a railroad that might seem improbable to some people is absolutely OK if it provides satisfaction to the modeler. Its a hobby for enjoyment, right? On the other hand, if part of that enjoyment for an individual modeler is to develop a concept that reflects real railroad practices then that's great too. I imagine a lot of us are in the middle some place on that line. What I have found for myself is that as I play around with my freelance I'm becoming more interested in making it seem a little more a goal for myself. That interest is starting to become part of the fun of it for me.
  2. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Ralph,Of course its always up to the modeler's givens..However,Let's look a tad deeper shall we?
    Let's look at the V&O,the Utah Belt,Coal Belt,The Maumee Route,the former AM and other like freelance railroads had one common goal and that goal was to design a freelance railroad based on prototypical concepts with full believability that such a railroad could exist as a valuable rail link.
    Looking at my C&HV..I design this railroad with a twist.My CDB Industries took over the operation of CSX's former Athens sub and bought 2 other short lines in the process so we could link Columbus,Oh and Parkersburgh W.Va.
    With a line running from Logan to Jackson and Logan to Newark.So,as a functional railroad we serve 2 major cities and as our slogan says we are "Serving The Industries Of The Hocking Valley." No more no less..
    You not see hot intermodal trains,auto part trains or auto rack trains.
    You will see work-a-day locals,mine runs, 4 weekly coal unit trains and 6 daily general freights,coal trains plus a Jackson and Newark transfer train to Logan as we feed our connecting roads with our customers freight destine to their customers located through out the country..
  3. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    That sounds real well thought out Brakie. I'm hoping to develop a simlarly plausible explanation some time for the existence of an independent railroad that interchanges with the Penn Central (but probably would really be a branch of the PC).
  4. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    That is indeed true of many railroads, small and large. But in the event of a merger, things can change. For example, the N&W dieselized with GP9, GP18, RS-3, RS-11 and T-6 locomotives. However, then they bought out several other roads. The Virginian contributed an almost all-FM roster. Penn Central is one of the most extreme cases. They ended up with around 80 different models representing six diesel builders (yes, they had two Limas at the beginning) and two electrification systems.
    What about the Niagaras? Or the NU-1 compuond 0-8-8-0s?
  5. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    On the contrary Triplex, you've proven that point with your exceptions.

    The NYC's 0-8-8-0s were not road engines. Considering that it was a race track road...they would have looked horribly out of place. Unless someone is modeling a hump yard (or a rr museum)...they'd make no sense.

    Further, the Niagaras were not big northerns. They had lower tractive effort than NKP berks (but higher HP...the niagara's were more than a decade newer in design)...and they were not particularly heavy. They essentially combined the mohawks with efficiency improvements...namely the 4-wheel trailing truck...and tall drivers. They also were stretching the limit of what could operate on the water level route due to the NYC's tight clearances.
    They were, to a degree, experimental power much like the Pennsy's T-1s & Q-2s (and odd balls) which looked out of place on a railroad which prided itstelf on a fleet of plain, low tech 2-10-0s, 2-8-2s, 4-6-2s, etc.

    Further, while roads did pick up equipment through mergers, normally they would purge their rosters (as they could afford to do so) to streamline their maintanence costs. And even if the didn't purge it, the usually wouldn't send their new equipment all over their system. The W&LE 2-6-6-2s didn't find themselves travelling over the NKP's mainline after 1949...they stayed on their own trackage. Same thing with the W&LE berks...even though they were essentially copies of the NKP's berks (but with ugly boxpoc drivers).
    In fact, most power was division specific. The C&O operated distinctly different power over each division. Even with identical power...the NKP divided up its power...the 765 always worked in northern Indiana...the S's worked the LE&W...and they designated 4-6-4s to the mainline...4-6-2s to the St. Louis line...and 4-6-0s to the Peoria passenger trains.

    As for merging...the british rail un-merger resulted in the exact kinds of odd ball rosters that you of the worst-turned best & west if I recall...hired an american to come over...her dumped the hodge podge collection and bought all new power from GE or GM to standardize...which resulted in substantially lower operating costs.

    Just because Penn Central had 80 differend models doesn't mean that they actually used hardly any system wide...and therefore...only a small fraction would be relevent to any modeler unless they were modeling the entire system.

    Just because a complete roster was diverse doesn't mean that it would be relative to a model railroad. On the other hand, modeling a division point would make a diversity of power plausible...IF each division had different operating characteristics. And then the freight crews and power would need to be changed...for nice operating characterists :p
  6. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    A couple more thoughts...

    I chose this as an example to point out that one should take into account era, and the "backstory" of the road modelled - freelanced or not. Covered hoppers for grain are a relatively recent development. Grain and other bulk commodities were often carried in modified (or not) boxcars into the 1950s.

    In a real world example, the Ottawa Arnprior & Parry Sound Rwy belonged to JR Booth around the turn of the (last) century. The line specialized in trans-shipping grain from Depot Harbour to the east coast. At the time, grain was shipped in box cars. Also, the OA&PS leased virtually all the cars it needed from its parent (another Booth railway), the Canada Atlantic. So it had almost no rolling stock of its own, only engines and cabooses.

    One could come up with a similar story (there are plenty of examples) for one's own freelanced road. This would especially be useful in limiting the amount of custom lettering one would have to do... ;) :D

    That brings me to my other thought - part of the fun of this hobby (at least for me) is to come up with those backstories that illustrate (usually in a reasonable, believable manner) how the railroad came to be the way it is modelled.

  7. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    And the PC did get rid of all FM power within two years. Instead of leaving them where they'd been operating before, they concentrated them around Chicago. 6-axle Alcos were concentrated in Ohio, and so on.
    And that doesn't make them any less valid of power.

    Since the NYC was a flat road, they used Mountains instead of Berkshires, but B&A and P&LE had Berkshires These didn't operate over the NYC proper... when they were new. In the mid-50s, most of NYC's remaining steam power was in the west. Even the P&LE A2 Berkshires moved to Indiana and operated alongside Niagaras, Mohawks and Hudsons.

    I think the strict separation of power by division applies more to the steam era than the diesel era.
  8. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    I didn't know exactly where this thread would go when I opened it, but I like what's happened so far. There have been many articles written in various hobby magazines, but these are as the individual threads here, expressing an individual opinion.
    Here, we are accumulating a very wide spectrum of what constitutes "freelance". Keep it up!
    On the subject of modeling a road based on a prototype. To avoid the "look-alike" problem, subtle changes can be made to power, and rolling stock, to give it the "family appearance" of an independant road. Unless, of course, you have chosen to model a "What-if-this-branch-had-been-opened" type of road, which then would look exactly like the base prototype. In this case, matching the power the prototype would have use, in the terrain, and application, would require research, to make it believable.
    One exercise that would prove helpful, would be to look at how various roads handled "identical" terrain, and load conditions. Would they all use the same approach?, or was there distinct differences? For a freelance of a "what-if branch" how about using the "prototype-of-a-different-road", that operated in the same kind of terrain/service, for the prototype branch of your choice.
    Backstories There is a thread out there somewhere that addressed this issue, with a number of different "reasons" for a road's existance. Backstories can identify the area, topography, materials moved, how they are aquired, and where they are sent. For example, your road might have a large fleet of log cars, because it transships logs from a different gauge rail line, to the ultimate destination, while also handling the coal, or iron, or produce, that occurs within its operating area.
    Givens and Druthers apply here, in backstorying what, where, and how.
  9. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Andrew,You are correct..I will add this.A Class II railroad could lease cars or locomotives as needed in the more modern times a railroad could lease cars from Rail Box,Rail Gon or any other leasing company.Locomotives could be lease from one of the locomotive leasers by power by the hour lease.
    Depending on era one would only need to letter a handful of locomotives..The road name doesn't even need to appear.Just the road's abbreviation like C&HV(or HV) or HR for my Huron River.It doesn't require all that much work to decal engines by taking the lettering short cuts use by railroads.

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